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A Pagan's Blog

We had our first Wicca 101 class last night, on Mabon, the
Equinox.  Along with the Priestess
who is co-teaching, we had five students: two with previous experience, the
others without.  A sixth, also a
newbie, will join us at our second meeting.  After that, the class will be closed.  It’s a nice size: big enough to have
some coven type experiences later on and small enough for us to attend to every
one individually.  Plus we fit
comfortably into my living room.

 


We discussed what Paganism was, and what distinguished
Wiccan Paganism, especially the British Traditional sort, from other kinds of
NeoPaganism.  We covered this
information fairly briefly but will return to it from time to time.          

We then moved
on to basic Wiccan ethics, the Rede and the law of Threefold Return.  We discussed how these principles
differed from a list of rules, how they would encourage us to think deeply abut
the ethical consequences of our actions when another was hurt, for in many cases
that is inevitable.         

Finally, along these
lines, we covered basic magickal etiquette: How to conduct yourselves around
magickal instruments, others and your own.  Again, we’ll return to these issues from time to time.       

I
passed out a short list of books from within our traditions that are good for
getting oriented.  Stuart Farrar’s
What Witches Do is a classic in my view.  We also
recommended  two books by Stuart
and Janet, Eight Sabbats for Witches and The WitchesWay,  that have been combined into the
bizarrely named The Witches’ Bible , the ABC of Witchcraft and The Rebirth of Witchcraft 
by Doreen Valiente, and Wiccan Roots 
Phillip Heselton.  We did not
require that people read them, but we encouraged it if they are interested in
more book learning.       

While I am
a fan of learning by doing, some things just need to be said.      Then we started
the experiential side.          

We started by
learning some basics about energy. 
First how to see it around your own hands, which most accomplished on
their first try. 
Then we explored one way to feel it, which I explained in this blog earlier. 
Almost everyone, I think everyone, could feel it rising off the top of
another’s head.       
More interestingly for
the skeptics, almost everyone could feel when a person passed their hands
rather far over the top of their head. 
These exercises demonstrated better than any book could that we are
enmeshed in fields of energy that come from everyone and every thing.       

The
Priestsess and I explained  that a
major dimension of Craft work involved being able to sense and manipulate this
energy, and encouraged them to familiarize themselves with it on their own
before the next meeting.               

The
final exercise was to breathe in a beautiful peaceful blue light, centering it
in their hearts.  Once it was
strongly there, they were asked to move it throughout their upper torso,
through their shoulders, and down one arm and through their hands.  Once they could feel it flowing through
their hands, the passed the other hand pam to palm slowly across the energized
one, keeping at least several inches apart. Again, our students could all feel
the difference.          Everyone
then was asked to pay attention to how the feeling within where we met had
changed due to the difference in the quality of energy people were deliberately
working with.            

Good stuff. Everyone left happy with their first Wicca 101 class.  We will meet again in two weeks.           

Why
do I relate this story?  To show
one way such a class could be conducted. 
There is no one right way any more than there is one right Wiccan or
Pagan or Religious tradition.  I
hope other teachers will relate their own experiences that might inspire or
guide the rest of us.

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